Thursday, March 27, 2008

100 Things About Me

Thank you, Steph, for the challenge. Right now I can't even think of 10 things, but here goes:

  1. I have to read before I go to bed. It's how I unwind.
  2. I adore homemade chocolate pudding.
  3. I hate running for any length of time.
  4. I spent most of my life hating pink; now, I love it!
  5. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have twins, but always knew I'd have girls (or knew I SHOULD have girls.)
  6. I think bookstores are the best places on earth and could spend an entire day in one without getting bored.
  7. I fell in love with my husband in 11th grade but "lost" him for almost four years after that year because he moved away. Later, he "found" me.
  8. I believe in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, fate, and all of that star-gazy stuff.
  9. I have more good girlfriends NOW than I've ever had in my life, which is weird.
  10. I own a lot of DVD's of movies I love, but rarely make time to watch them.
  11. I'm addicted to People Magazine and usually look forward to when it arrives on Fridays or Saturdays.
  12. I get really frustrated when my People arrives at Target or the grocery store before it gets to my mailbox.
  13. I secretly think I'll write a book and get it published one day. I've started two books, but writing both frustrates and fascinates me.
  14. My headboard is my favorite piece of furniture in the house. It's antique red with cherubs on it. It looks like it would be in an old villa in Italy.
  15. Speaking of Italy, I've never travelled to Europe, and this is my biggest regret.
  16. I plan to travel to England on a "literary" tour- Shakespeare, Austin, etc.
  17. I have a pen pal in England whom I met in 1st grade. Her name is Dawn too.
  18. My parents used to own a Sizzler.
  19. Having parents who owned a Sizzler made me fascinated with McDonalds burgers when I was a kid.
  20. I love planning meals and buying groceries, but truthfully don't cook enough.
  21. My husband is a wonderful cook! His oatmeal cookies are the bomb.
  22. I kept a journal/diary from around 5th grade until after I started dating my husband. I still have all of my journals.
  23. I think I have the best job in the world. I can't believe I get paid to talk about books and college. (Hee hee!)
  24. When I became a Christian for the second time I lost several friendships, which leads me to believe that although people think Christians are judgemental, Agnostics and Atheists can be far more so.
  25. I pray every day- mostly more conversationally or thankfully than anything else.
  26. I faced infertility for years and think my twin girls are the biggest blessings in the world.
  27. I was hours from adopting a little boy who would have been named Nicholas. The birth mom seemed to get cold feet, and I knew in the pit of my stomach I had to back out of the adoption. I still wonder about the baby (who is now around 8 years old.)
  28. I love nothing more than a house full of kids. I adore having my niece and nephew over, and I love it when the girls have friends over.
  29. Herbal tea rocks.
  30. I don't relax enough. It's hard for me to "let go" sometimes and just chill.
  31. I worry a lot and work on giving it to God.
  32. I write poetry.
  33. I love Karaoke.
  34. When I was little, I wanted to BE Olivia Newton John from Grease and Xanadu.
  35. I used to be the best roller skater at the roller rink. :)
  36. I love horses and riding, and have been thrown off a horse countless times.
  37. I'm scared of waves because I've been pummeled in the ocean.
  38. If I watch a sad movie, it sticks with me for a really long time.
  39. I make embarrassing voices for all kinds of things, especially the pets.
  40. I adore pugs.
  41. I have really vivid, long, story-like dreams.
  42. I loved college and miss taking classes.
  43. I've broken my left arm three times: Once, falling off a horse, once swinging off a bar and hitting the playground border, and the third time skateboarding at night.
  44. I've dislocated my left shoulder telling a story.
  45. I wear Clinique Happy and can't smell it anymore, but other people smell it on me. :)
  46. I like really hot baths.
  47. I fall asleep with the tv on.
  48. Once, when I was little, I hid in a store dressing room from my mom for a really long time. She had the whole store looking for me and almost called the police. I knew people were worrying, but I stayed hidden for a looooong time. I have no idea why I did it.
  49. When I watch videos of my girls when they were babies, it makes me want to cry. I miss those babies (even though having twin baby girls was difficult a lot of the time.)
  50. I talk to my mom every day. She rocks.
  51. I like my dad much better now than I ever have. I respect him a lot, too.
  52. I want to read the entire Bible this year, but have been lagging. Leviticus is BORING.
  53. I got caught cheating in high school from Senor Decker. I had written the verb tenses on my jeans.
  54. Worst experience from school #1: P.E. I hated everything about it, including the tight blue PE shorts.
  55. Worst experience from school #2: The bus. Bullies, crazy bus drivers, cold, humilating....just all around terror.
  56. When I was 16-18, I never should have been allowed to have a driver's license. I was a horrible driver!
  57. I adore Target and find it theraputic to push the red cart around the store. When I was pregnant with the twins I rode in the Gramma cart.
  58. I miss my stepson and wish the relationship didn't face so many obstacles.
  59. I was a vegetarian in 12th grade and during my freshman year of college. I became a vegetarian again last year. It started with looking at pictures that stuck with me. (I DO eat I don't know if I count as a full vegetarian.)
  60. I have started buying products that are "cruelty free" which is more difficult than it seems like it would be.
  61. I buy organic a lot of the time.
  62. Trader Joes is my favorite grocery-type store.
  63. I LOVE sushi, especially spicy tuna rolls. (Speaking of the poor fish...)
  64. I was the worst waitress who ever lived, which is why I worked as a nanny in college.
  65. I wear crazy pajama pants. (Right now, I'm wearing pj pants with candy canes on them.)
  66. I can't stand it when people smoke near entrances and exits to buildings. I abhor cigarrettes, which is ironic since I didn't feel so strongly about them in college....
  67. My biggest fear is anything happening to one of my girls.
  68. I didn't care for high school, but I love teaching high school.
  69. I love being alone.
  70. I don't think I look good with long hair.
  71. I don't mind it when the pugs snore, but I don't like it when my husband snores.
  72. When my husband snores, I pinch his nose until it stops. :( I know it's mean.
  73. I LOVE to stay up late and sleep in.
  74. When I cry, it's hard for me to stop. Once the waterworks get going, it's full blast.
  75. I am addicted to dark chocolate and usually HAVE to have a piece after lunch.
  76. Spiders and crawly insects creep me out. I would NEVER hold a Tarantula.
  77. I think people who ride in hot air balloons are crazy. It just doesn't seem logical.
  78. I'm trying to simplify my life and not make any of it about the "stuff" (which makes my trips to Target less likely to occur.)
  79. I don't care about designer labels or expensive cars. I think it's a waste of money.
  80. I used to shop at the thrift store even though my parents could afford the designer stuff.
  81. I've been to a Grateful Dead show.
  82. I've been punched in the jaw at a Bad Religion show just for pushing a grabby boy away from me, but I've never been in a true "fight."
  83. I once lost my sister's Doc Martin boot in the pit at a Social Distortion show. :)
  84. I'm glad I don't have any tattoos.
  85. I don't care about getting tan.
  86. I love wearing dark polish on my toes.
  87. I bite my cuticles.
  88. I can't stand people who buy pets and then disgard them as if they are "items" and not family.
  89. I would like to adopt a child from another country someday.
  90. I wrote about my current life in a journal entry when I was a freshmen in college...I spelled out all that I wished for, including daughters, pugs, a sweet husband, and a teaching job.
  91. I can't draw.
  92. I collect children's books.
  93. I adore coffee and drink it every morning- but I have to have flavored cream in it.
  94. I rely on Advil too much.
  95. I own a pink mountain bike.
  96. I like history now, but hated it in high school.
  97. I don't look good in hats.
  98. I like shabby chic/antique stuff.
  99. I'm an optimist, but people have disappointed me.
  100. Apparently, self reflection isn't difficult for me!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Break: Part 1

I am thrilled that we have two weeks off for spring break. I'm calling this "Spring Break: Part 1" because I plan to pack the second week with just as much fun.

We spent Friday at the Wild Animal Park. We walked the entire park instead of riding the tram, which to me was much better. We were able to see behind the scenes at the Elephant Barn and got really close to a male elephant they are planning to move to the zoo. We saw a mama elephant and her baby...precious! The baby was messing around in the water with his trunk and playing with some hay. We saw lions and their cubs up close (the lion exhibit is so cool- they have an expansive area encircled by glass, so we got right next to a daddy lion passed out with his cubs sleeping all over him.) We fed the lorakeets, saw the gorillas, and rode the merry-go-round. I love the Wild Animal Park. :)

Today was Easter, and we had a fancy brunch at our house with the Woods (it was Baby Kathleen's first Easter and she wore bunny ears!) and my parents and grandma. We had Jeff's crepes- lemon blueberry, peach, and butter maple. YUM. The girls had an Easter egg hunt and when everyone went home, we took a short nap on the couch. Later, we woke up and decided to go on a hike. We drove a few miles to the Santa Rosa Plateau- it is SO beautiful up there! I can't believe that such a peaceful, expansive, gorgeous place is only 5 minutes from my house. We hiked over five miles, and Grace was the "trail boss" leading the way the whole time. We saw 26 stink bugs (Grace counted), meadows, and oak trees as far as the eye can see. The area reminds me a lot of the Central Coast in the spring...the hills are green and you expect Ma and Pa Ingalls to pull up in their wagon at any moment. :) It was such a beautiful day to be outside and to thank God for his creation. It seemed appropriate to be in such a lovely place on Easter.

Stay tuned for Spring Break: Part 2. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Turkeys and Sheep and Llamas...Oh My!

We spent last Saturday visiting a ranch... I really shouldn't call it a ranch, but rather an animal sanctuary. My student Kyle invited us out to his family's ranch in La Cresta to see his animals. I talked to his mom and she said, "Plan to spend at least two hours, and bring two heads of lettuce and some carrots."

I didn't know what to expect.

We ended up meeting (and feeding dead mice to) a rare crane, feeding swans, turkeys, and fancy chickens, petting sheep, draft horses, and Buttercup the cow, petting turtles, and feeding a 37 year old donkey. The kids were in Heaven! It was the best day. We also saw a teepee, llamas, and a real working firetruck (that my student bought with money from his chicken business...hee hee). The kids were in awe of the whole thing. It was like having a private tour of a zoo! Of course Emma, my future "ranch owner," was totally content to stay there all day, and even asked me to leave her there.
Someday, hopefully Emma and Gracie will build a giant ranch and have a guest house on the property for their mom and dad. (They'll still want us around then, right? Ha ha ha...)

Gypsi and Emma- A Match Made in Heaven

Emma and Gypsi are best friends. Gypsi can be the naughtiest pony who ever lived- cantering when she should trot, sneezing in Emma's face, nipping Emma's hands to look for treats, or dragging Emma toward the grass so she can eat. But Emma is in love. In her eyes, Gypsi is her best friend, and if she could, she would stay at the ranch all day and all night. She asked if she could sleep on Gypsi! Emma's best friend has four legs, a fancy forelock, a long tail, and giant brown eyes. I don't know if it's just me, but sometimes I look at the two of them together, and I think Emma and Gypsi are meant for each other. They match! They are bound to be best friends for years to come.

Grace would prefer to play with Jenna, the ranch owner's daughter. Grace swings on the swingset and pets the ranch pig while Emma slips Gypsi carrots, gets one more giant pony kiss, and rides off into the sunset.